SPACs

The Securities & Exchange Commission is stepping up its warnings about special purpose acquisition companies, with a new statement today walking through the internal control and governance concerns that SPACs and the private businesses they acquire are obligated to meet.  SPACs, also known as blank-check companies, are all the rage on the capital markets these…

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ICFR

My phone rang the other day, and on the line was my friend the tech vendor. He was calling to tell me about new whiz-bang software his firm is developing to identify internal control issues — and within a few minutes, we stumbled into a dilemma about effective internal controls that needs attention. Hear me…

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internal control

We have yet another report today depicting the tensions companies face when building internal control over financial reporting, including the enduring suspicion that many audit firms raise questions about internal controls simply to look good to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. The report, released Tuesday by Financial Executives International, interviewed 145 financial reporting executives…

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pandemic

The PCAOB just published a mid-pandemic progress report on how audit firms are handling their work during coronavirus. Compliance and audit executives may want to give it a read for hints about how auditors are trying to inspect your internal controls and which risks are high priority. The report, Staff Observations and Reminders During the…

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internal audit

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board just published three reports on the implementation of critical audit matters, all suggesting that the inclusion of “CAMs” in an audit report simply isn’t that big a deal.  The research, published with little fanfare last week, found no strong evidence that CAMs drive up audit fees or delay the…

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disclosures

Just in time for the end of second quarter, the Securities and Exchange Commission has published another dollop of guidance about financial disclosures companies should keep in mind as they navigate Covid-19.  The statement came Tuesday from chief accountant Sagar Teotia. It’s the latest in a series of pronouncements SEC officials have made since early…

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inspection

The audit and compliance community rarely sees a stealth news dump from regulators over a long weekend, but we have some now: SEC chairman Jay Clayton is replacing the leading cybersecurity expert on the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board with a White House aide. Kathleen Hamm, a member of the PCAOB since January 2018, will…

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sox

The Securities and Exchange Commission will move forward next week with long awaited, but totally not surprising, plans to raise the threshold for accelerated filer status —  a move that will pave the way for more companies to avoid outside audits of their internal control over financial reporting. The SEC posted a notice that it…

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internal control

The Securities and Exchange Commission dinged four companies on Wednesday for poor internal control over financial reporting — a clear warning to companies that simply disclosing a material weakness in ICFR is not sufficient to fulfill a company’s compliance duties. Executives actually have to fix the problem, and not take too long to do so.…

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Hain

The SEC settled charges with an organic foods company on Tuesday over internal control failures that led to several years of revenue manipulation, in a case with multiple lessons for the internal control community. We don’t see an internal controls case this large come along every day, so let’s digest. First, the background. The accused…

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